Tag Archives: Prize

CFP: Force, Resistance, and Mercy: Medieval Violence and Nonviolence, 30th Annual Medieval Studies Symposium, Indiana University, April 6-7, 2018, Bloomington, Indiana

5487225791_f2f9dd3b91Call for Papers: Force, Resistance, and Mercy: Medieval Violence and Nonviolence, 30th Annual Medieval Studies Symposium, Indiana University, April 6-7, 2018,

Keynote: Elizabeth Allen, University of California, Irvine

The Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University invites proposals for its 30th Annual Medieval Studies Symposium, April 6-7, 2018, in Bloomington, Indiana

Iron maidens, the Inquisition, the Crusades, witch burnings: these images of violence, both fact and fiction, are profoundly connected to the Middle Ages. Yet if in many popular conceptions, the medieval world is associated with brutality and suffering, the period also offers unique formulations of mercy, compassion, and the power of resistance. In exploring both medieval violence or nonviolence, this symposium seeks to examine specific structures of power and brutality but also to complicate the narrative of the violent Middle Ages.

We invite papers on any medieval discipline or region that engage issues of medieval violence and nonviolence: What functions did violence serve in the Middle Ages? How might acts of physical and rhetorical violence against othered groups (gendered, religious, cultural, racial, nonhuman) reflect larger concerns or anxieties within medieval culture? Is there a medieval aesthetic of violence? How does medieval music, art, theology, and literature glorify or critique brutality and/or suffering? How do medieval texts understand the uses and effects of verbal violence? How might medieval violence operate in a metaphorical sense, as violence done to texts or to the material past? What does nonviolence look like in the Middle Ages? Given the functions and pervasiveness of violence, what are some ways in which it is resisted and negotiated? What alternatives do medieval people or institutions offer to violence? How might medieval understandings of mercy or love act as a counter to violence? We also encourage papers on modern representations of the Middle Ages that consider to what extent and to what ends these medievalisms employ violence and nonviolence.

We are also excited to announce that graduate students whose papers have been accepted for the symposium are invited to submit their papers by March 2, 2018 to be considered for the IU Medieval Studies Symposium Paper Prize. Papers will be evaluated by a panel of IU medieval faculty. The prize of $250 will be awarded before the symposium to help defray the cost of travel, and the winner will be noted in the program.

Please submit 200 word abstracts or complete sessions proposals to IUMestSymposium@gmail.com by November 24, 2017.


CFP: 15th Annual Conference of the International Medieval Society-Paris (IMS): Truth and Fiction, 28-30 June 2018

25e58865266eadd5bdb9a530a627b0db-medieval-art-middle-agesCall for Papers: 15th Annual Conference of the International Medieval Society-Paris (IMS), Truth and Fiction
Deadline: 24 November 2017.

In the wake of the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum, the Oxford English Dictionary chose the expression “post-truth” as its word of the year. This expression underlines the growing tendency to dismiss objective facts in favor of impulsive—and often prejudicial—feelings, frequently supported by “alternative facts.” The contentious relationship between the truth and lies, or truth and fiction, which is currently playing out in the public arena has, in fact, a long-standing legacy—one which can be traced back to the Middle Ages. For this reason, this year’s IMS conference seeks to investigate the variety of different approaches to truth and fiction that existed in the Middle Ages.

One possible avenue of inquiry concerns new ideas of Truth introduced by the Gregorian reforms. On a philosophical and doctrinal level, the idea of the infallibility of the Pope, the “Doctor of Truth,” was introduced by Gregory VII who, taking up the words of Christ, contended that he was the Truth (via, veritas, et vita). From a liturgical and sacramental point of view, on the other hand, we can study contemporary tenets of Eucharistic doctrine as a challenge to common sense as a mystery of human understanding—albeit articulated in rationalist terms. Papers thus might address the manner by which the Gregorian reforms placed the question of truth at the center of the demands of society: by constructing this “ideology of truth,” but also—and above all—by implementing mechanisms like preaching, which spread Truth to Christians, and confession, which introduced the obligation to speak the truth. We are particularly interested in the place and the role of Fictions in these devices (sermons, exempla, vita, etc.).

A second approach to this theme is through language, discourse and narrative forms that aimed to produce a supposed truth. We could examine the relationships between literature and history and their ambiguity with respect to the truth. For example, fictionalized historical narratives throughout the medieval period were frequently thought to be true because they provided a means of decrypting the social order. As John of Salisbury wrote, “even the lies of poets served the Truth.” Papers might explore relationships between truth and fiction through the lens of historical and literary genres (novels, epics, etc.) and the ‘truths’ they produced, placing special emphasis on the way that it was possible to believe the facts related in these works. The importance of these historico-literary fictions—what Paul Veyne called “doctrine in the face of facts”—might also be taken into account.

Law and rhetoric also construct notions of truth. Rhetoric permits the control of the relationship between the author and the audiences of a text and the establishment of the status of a text as veridic, among other things. It can even create direct links between music and words, using metaphor as a means of approaching the truth. Papers could consider, for instance, the virtuosity of the effects of Truth produced by the dictamen or even the quaestio scholastique as a method for establishing Truth with certitude, as well as the place of fiction within these new political languages.

Images throughout the medieval period play a fundamental role in the construction or undermining of truth(s). According to Augustine, the image is not truth, but rather a means of understanding Truth. For him, the work of art renders abstractions concrete using representations hat are both specific and individualized. What is the art object’s role in dispelling truth or decrying falsehoods? Through what formal and material means does it achieve either? Papers might consider the use and forms of medieval diagrams, the role of the art object in spiritual form, etc.

Finally, the conference aims to examine the origins and development of interrogative procedures in the medieval period, in that they illustrate relationships with the truth maintained by medieval societies. We are especially interested in the uses and status of fictive facts in inquisitorial trials, the manner that fictions were revealed during trials, or even how the participation of individuals in inquisitorial trials was viewed as an instrument of legitimization of power and as a way of acknowledging those individuals’ own truths and interpretations of facts.

This great diversity of themes opens participation to researchers working in a variety of different fields and coming from a variety of backgrounds: historians, art historians, musicologists, philosophers, literary scholars, specialists in auxiliary sciences (paleographers, epigraphists, codicologists, numismatists)… While we focus on medieval France, compelling submissions focused on other geographical areas that also fit the conference theme are welcomed. In bringing together such diverse proposals, the IMS conference seeks to take a new look at the notion of Truth, its articulations, and its relationship with Fiction in the medieval world.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words (in French or English) for a 20-minute paper should be sent to communications.ims.paris@gmail.com. Each proposal should be accompanied by full contact information, a CV, and a list of the audio-visual equipment required for the presentation.

The deadline for abstracts is 24 November 2017.

Paper selections will be made by a scientific committee composed of Catherine Croizy-Naquet (Univ. Paris 3/CERAM), Marie Dejoux (Univ. Paris 1/LAMOP), Lindsey Hansen (IMS), Fanny Madeline (LAMOP/IMS), and Valerie Wilhite (Univ. of the Virgin Islands/IMS), as well as the members of the Board of Directors of the IMS.

Please be aware that the IMS-Paris submissions review process is highly competitive and is carried out on a strictly anonymous basis.

The selection committee will email applicants in mid-December to notify them of its decisions. Titles of accepted papers will be made available on the IMS-Paris website thereafter.

Authors of accepted papers will be responsible for their own travel costs and conference registration fees (35€ per person, 20€ for students, free for members of LAMOP and CERAM; 10€ membership dues for all participants).

The IMS-Paris is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (French/English) organization that fosters exchanges between French and foreign scholars. For more than a decade, the IMS has served as a center for medievalists who travel to France to conduct research, work or study. For more information about the IMS-Paris and for past symposium programs, please visit our websites: www.ims-paris.org and https://imsparis.hypotheses.org.

IMS-Paris Graduate Student Prize:

The IMS-Paris is pleased to offer one prize for the best paper proposal by a graduate student. Applications should consist of:

1) a symposium paper abstract

2) an outline of a current research project (PhD dissertation research)

3) the names and contact information of two academic referees

The prize-winner will be selected by the board and a committee of honorary members, and will be notified upon acceptance to the Symposium. An award of 350€ to support international travel/accommodation (within France, 150€) will be paid at the symposium.

Prize: Prix de thèse de la Société française d’histoire urbaine 2017

La Société Française d’Histoire Urbaine (SFHU) ouvre, pour sa 7e session, au titre de l’année 2017, un concours de thèses qui s’adresse aux jeunes docteur.es en histoire urbaine. Par cette initiative, la SFHU vise à encourager de jeunes chercheurs.ses et à favoriser la plus large diffusion possible de leurs travaux (voir les archives du prix de thèse sur le site : http://sfhu.hypotheses.org/la-sfhu/prix-de-these-sfhu).


1. Objet du concours

Le.la lauréat.e du concours sera récompensé.e par une somme de 2000 euros.

2. Conditions de participation

Le prix est ouvert aux docteur.es ayant soutenu une thèse d’histoire urbaine, rédigée en français, durant l’année (civile) 2016. Les mémoires d’habilitation à diri­ger des recherches et les thèses de l’École nationale des chartes ne sont pas retenus.

Sont recevables toutes les thèses qui abordent le fait urbain dans son historicité, quels que soient la période, l’espace et la discipline académique (histoire, droit, urbanisme, architecture, histoire de l’art…) concernés.

3. Constitution du dossier de candidature

Pour s’inscrire, le.la docteur.e doit faire acte de candidature en envoyant à la SFHU (voir ci-dessous), un dossier dématérialisé qui comprendra les éléments suivants :

  • le formulaire de candidature (ci-dessous, télécharger ou copier) dûment rempli (en version électronique pdf exclu) ;
  • un résumé de la thèse entre 10 000 et 20 000 signes (en version électronique, traitement de texte, pdf exclu) ;
  • un curriculum vitae (en version électronique) ;
  • une version électronique de la thèse au format pdf (volume maximum souhaité par fichier 10 Mo, dans la mesure du possible ; voir détails ci-dessous).

NB : un accusé de réception du dossier complet sera envoyé aux candidat.es : vérifier sa bonne réception.

4. Procédure d’attribution du prix

Le jury sera composé des membres du bureau de la SFHU. Il examinera l’ensemble des thèses recevables et pourra s’adjoindre des expert.es extérieur.es, français.es et étranger.es.

5. Calendrier

Les candidatures seront enregistrées jusqu’au 5 juin 2017 minuit CET, délai de rigueur

(par voie électronique, à l’adresse Jean-Pierre.Guilhembet@wanadoo.fr).

Les résultats seront proclamés en décembre 2017au plus tard et le prix remis lors de l’AG annuelle et de la journée d’étude de la SFHU de 2018.

6. Fiche de candidature

(ci-après ou fichier à télécharger)

Prix de thèse SFHU 2017 – Fiche de candidature

(merci d’enregistrer VOTRE NOM DANS LE TITRE DU FICHIER avant transmission et de ne pas utiliser le format pdf pour ce fichier-ci)

Prénom :
Adresse :
Téléphone :
E-mail :
Situation professionnelle :
Intitulé de la thèse :
Date de soutenance :(rappel : la thèse doit avoir été soutenue durant l’année civile 2016)
Université ou établissement de rattachement :
Nom du.de la. des directeur.e.s de recherche :
Membres du jury de soutenance : (un nom par ligne)

Source : Société française d’histoire urbaine

CFP: 14th International Medieval Society Symposium: ‘Evil,’ Paris, June 29– July 1, 2016

ambrogio_lorenzetti_008Call for Papers: 14th International Medieval Society Symposium: ‘Evil,’ Paris, June 29– July 1, 2016
November 5, 2016

For its 14th Annual Symposium, the International Medieval Society invites abstracts on the theme of Evil in the Middle Ages. The concept of evil, and the tensions it reveals about the relationship between internal and external identities, fits well into recent trends in scholarship that have focused attention on medieval bodies, boundaries, and otherness. Medieval bodies frequently blur the distinctions between moral and non-moral evil. External, monstrous appearances are often seen as testament to internal dispositions, and illnesses might be seen as a reflection of a person’s evil nature. More generally, evil may stand in for an entire, contrasting ideological viewpoint, as much as for a particular kind of behaviour, action, or being. It may appear in the world through intentional acts, as well as through accidental occurrences, through demonic intervention as much as through human weakness and sin. It may be rooted in anger, spread through violence, or thrive on ignorance, emerging from either the natural world or from mankind.

Alongside those working on bodies and monstrosity, the question of evil has also preoccupied scholars working to understand the limits of moral responsibility and the links between destiny and decision as shown in medieval literary, artistic and historical productions. The 14th Annual IMS Symposium on Evil aims to focus on the many facets of medieval evil, analysing the intersections between evil as concept and form, as well as taking into account medieval responses to evil and its potential effects.

This Symposium will thus explore (but is not limited to) three broad themes:

1)    Concepts of evil: discourse on morality and moral understandings of evil; reflections on the relationship between good and evil; heresy and heretical beliefs, teachings, writings; evil and sin; evil and conscience; associations with hell, the devil; types of evil behaviour or evil thoughts; categories of evil; evil as disorder/chaos; evil as corruption; evil and mankind

2)    Embodied evil/being evil/evil beings: monstrosity; the demonic; perceptions of deformity and disfigurement; evil transformations and metamorphoses; magic and the supernatural; outward expressions of evil (e.g. through clothing, material possessions); evil objects

3)    Responses to evil: punishments; the purging and/or exorcism of evil; inquisition; evil speech; warnings about evil (textual, visual, musical); ways to avoid evil or to protect oneself (talismans etc.); the temptation of evil; emotional responses to evil; social exclusion as a response to evil.

Through these broad themes, we aim to encourage the participation of researchers with varying backgrounds and fields of expertise: historians, art historians, musicologists, philologists, literary specialists, and specialists in the auxiliary sciences (palaeographers, epigraphists, codicologists, numismatists). While we focus on medieval France, compelling submissions focused on other geographical areas that also fit the conference theme are welcome and encouraged. By bringing together a wide variety of papers that both survey and explore this field, the IMS Symposium intends to bring a fresh perspective to the notion of evil in medieval culture.

How to submit: Proposals of no more than 300 words (in English or French) for a 20-minute paper should be e-mailed to communications.ims.paris@gmail.com by November 5th 2016. Each should be accompanied by full contact information, a CV, and a list of the audio-visual equipment that you require.

Please be aware that the IMS-Paris submissions review process is highly competitive and is carried out on a strictly anonymous basis. The selection committee will email applicants in late-November to notify them of its decision. Titles of accepted papers will be made available on the IMS-Paris website. Authors of accepted papers will be responsible for their own travel costs and conference registration fee (35 euros, reduced for students, free for IMS-Paris members).

The IMS-Paris is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (French/English) organisation that fosters exchanges between French and foreign scholars. For the past ten years, the IMS has served as a centre for medievalists who travel to France to conduct research, work, or study. For more information about the IMS-Paris and past symposia programmes, please visit our website: www.ims-paris.org.

IMS-Paris Graduate Student Prize:

The IMS-Paris is pleased to offer one prize for the best paper proposal by a graduate student. Applications should consist of:

1) a symposium paper abstract

2) an outline of a current research project (PhD. dissertation research)

3) the names and contact information of two academic referees

The prize-winner will be selected by the board and a committee of honorary members, and will be notified upon acceptance to the Symposium. An award of 350 euros to support international travel/accommodation (within France, 150 euros) will be paid at the Symposium.

The Apocalypse Art Prize

“The first rule of art is beauty.” So begins “A Primer of Pictorial Devices in Medieval Painting” written by artist Gloria Thomas. The primer is a guide to competitors in the Apocalypse Art Prize. The prize is $10,000 and the deadline for entry is December 31, 2015. Complete information about the prize and how to submit an entry can be found on the competition’s web site: Apocalypseprize.com

The theme for all entries is Saint John the Divine’s vision of the Apocalypse, the last book in the Christian canon, also called Revelation. The Apocalypse text is filled with metaphorical images that have influenced world literature and art for two millennia. Who has not heard of the “Mark of the Beast”, the “Battle of Armageddon” or the “Harlot of Babylon”? The competition web site lists 86 possible subjects for entrants to choose from the Apocalypse text, offering what Thomas calls “an unparalleled opportunity for imaginative representation.”


Subject matter is not the only criteria. The substantial cash prize will go to the artist who is best able to use analogical principles of composition in his or her work. These principles are described in the instructional videos: Revelations: Ideas in Images (Part I and II) also found on the Apocalypse Art Prize web site. Between the hard copy primer available to entrants at no cost and the plethora of resource materials loaded on the web site, participants have more than enough information to carry out the requirements set by the competition designer.

About the Competition Design
Gloria Thomas has spent more than 40 years researching and implementing the principles of pictorial analogy in her works that grace churches, museums and private homes. She now wishes to pass these principles on to other Christian artists, particularly young artists, as a traditional way of making contemporary religious art. Thomas wants to challenge artists to rethink not only subject matter and style, but also, and more fundamentally, how to convey the indescribable through images of things that can be pictorially represented.

There is nothing novel about the objective. Art is continually born and reborn from the desire to express relationships between the seen and unseen through artifact, music and poetry. What is exceptional about the competition is that participants are required to use the language of analogy in their submissions, and the models used to explain analogy are illuminated manuscripts of the High Middle Ages.


Seven Headed Beast from the Apocalypse Tapestries (1382 AD) created by Jean Bondol, housed in the Château d’Angers

Naturalism vs. Analogical Representation
The amount of art created in the Middle Ages about the Apocalypse is immense. The competition invites artists look to these fabulous examples of image metaphor for inspiration, works like the Abingdon Apocalypse, the Visio Santci Pauli Apocalypse, the Trinity Apocalypse, the Bodlein Douce Apocalypse, and the Angers Tapestries. While the images are highly representational, they share almost none of the aspects of naturalism associated with Renaissance painting. It is not simply because these works preceded the Renaissance; they are of a different order.


Antichrist Assault on the Church from the Abingdon Apocalypse (1270 AD) housed in the British Library, London

The appeal of Renaissance naturalism is in its portrayal of the arrested moment, a freeze frame in one-point perspective that presents an illusion of reality. The illusion created by naturalism is that the viewer is an eyewitness to some event or emotion captured in a work of art. By contrast, Medieval religious art uses representation of figures and things poetically in order to describe physical and metaphysical dimensions on the same surface. It is a picture plane similar to a stage on which it is possible to view at once “not only this world and the next, but the involvement of the entire cosmos.” As Thomas says, “Medieval art is not an illusion of reality, but an analogy of it. Its scenes are not ruled by light and shade as in nature. Everything is equally illuminated to create an analogy with the light of the intellect which sees all thought with the same clarity.” Analogy does not show how things are related to each other materially; it shows how they are “related conceptually” by giving thought material attributes.

A similar purpose is served in Eastern Orthodox iconography with its overlapping treatment of time and eternity and of the horizon-less earthly domain couched between heaven and hell. When the invention of the camera overwhelmed the artistic devices of naturalism, a long retreat from representational art ushered in a movement generally known as Modern Art in its many forms. Ironically, early modernists such as Cézanne, Matisse, Chagall, and Derain turned to the icon as a way of recovering the freedom of space, form and color exhausted by naturalism.

Modernists like Marcel Duchamp, however, preached a kind of militant iconoclasm that persuaded generations of artists to embrace contempt for meaning and beauty. “What I have in mind,” says Duchamp, “is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion.”

History of the Apocalypse Art Prize
Thomas rejected this doctrine during her graduate studies at Queens College of the City of New York [1968-1970]. She reached instead for traditional aesthetics and her faith. “Having nearly lost my sanity in art school, I returned to things I loved as a child, the wonderful paintings of scenes from Holy Scripture.” Her first project inspired by this return was a series of paintings based on St. John’s vision of the Apocalypse. In 1994 Viking-Penguin Press published the series under the title “Revelations: Visions of the Second Coming from the Old and New Testaments.” The paintings were accompanied by a text complied from an interplay of biblical prophecy concerning the catastrophes to befall the cosmos at the end of time, leading up to the Last Judgment and the creation of new heavens and new earth.


The Apocalypse Art Prize is a continuation of Thomas’ abiding interest in these themes. It is also a meditation on how art communicates through its “first rule,” that is – beauty. The very notion is heresy in modernist terms of amorphous pigment splatters and just plain “bad art.” Like Thomas, philosopher Roger Scruton is convinced that art has a higher purpose than shock and disposable amusement. “Through the pursuit of beauty,” Sruton claims, “we shape the world as our own and come to understand our nature as spiritual beings. But art has turned its back on beauty and now we are surrounded by ugliness.”

Benefactors of the Apocalypse Art Prize are hoping artists will respond to Thomas’ encouragement to explore an artistic language with a long shelf life as well as a source of subjects with endless opportunities “for imaginative representation.”

Participation in the competition is free and open to all during the year 2015. Winners will be announced June 1, 2016 and awarded prizes according to the age category of the participant.

1. Participants older than 16 compete for a first prize of $7,000, 
a second prize of $3,000, and a third prize of $2,000.
2. Participants between 12 and 16 years of age compete for a $2,000 prize.
3. Participants 12 years old and younger compete for a $1,000 prize.

Persian scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr beautifully articulates the philosophy of the benefactors of the Apocalypse Art Prize and the underlying crisis they seek to address.

“Traditional art is a channel of grace, and the sacred art which lies at its heart in a sense compliments the social and legal norms promulgated by the revelation. It reflects the beauty which guides us to the source of all beauty, to the one who alone is beautiful in the ultimate sense … to gain greater insight into the meaning of religious art in a world which has turned its back upon the very principles that govern all existence.”

For more infomation on the principles behind submissions, to order your free guide to creating your visualisation of scripture, and see the first year’s winners, visit www.apocalypseprize.com/

This article is taken, with permission, from the Orthodox Arts Journal, with updates for the current year’s competition.